Yes, I have some powdered Goats Milk left, but I wanted to try with liquid. It works out easier to get, snd cheaper too. I need my own Goats, and
Bees. On my wish list!
I was busy all day, but have measured out my ingredients, and have put coconut milk in freezer. I'm just fixing up my molds now, ready to do it
later. I have 3 pairs of safety goggles, can't find any of them. Hoping to find them soon, or I will have to use sunglasses. LOL.
Hope you got all your soaps and products packed and off to market.
some brilliant ideas and results so far guys! ... I'd just like to contribute a couple of thoughts I've had.
obviously there's "night time" soap you could add lavender and hops, I think this would be quite nice in a batch actually and leave you smelling
very nice indeed!
and maybe Calendula soap for the treatment of wounds? not sure if the medicinal properties of the marigold would survive in the soap though? (I'm a
student of herbalism so not quite experienced enough to know how effective a soap would be)
There's tons of ideas and possible uses I've way too much on my plate at the moment to start a new hobby, but if any body has tried lavender and
hops I'd be eager to know the results?
Here's some of my favourite cold-press soap recipes:
Very Basic Soap for Beginners:
(this recipe makes a small 1/2 lb batch - 2 or 3 regular sized bars, so it's great for a first timer)
1 cup water
2 tbsp lye powder
1 cup pure tallow or lard
Make your lye water. Add the solid tallow right into the lye water (the heat from the lye will melt the tallow to liquid, as well as cool down the
lye temps at the same time).
Grandpappy's Homemade Soap:
3/4 cup homemade Concentrated Brown Lye Water (room temperature)
2 cups melted grease
(Any type of animal fat may be melted into grease, such as beef, pork, lamb, goat, bear, beaver, opossum, raccoon, groundhog, etc)
Make your campfire to melt your fats (and warm up your lye water if needed), grab a log stump to sit on and enjoy your soap making in the great
outdoors ! Pour your lye water into a large mixing pot. Add your melted and slightly cooled grease to your lye water. Stir until trace stage with a
big wooden stick. Be patient, this soap will take quite a while to reach the trace stage when stirring by hand (1/2 hour to an hour)... so grab a big
cup of moonshine and relax while stirring until the cows come home !
You can cut this recipe in half if you're making it for the first time and want to build up you're confidence before making a full batch. If
necessary, heat the concentrated brown lye water to between 80ºF to 130ºF in a separate cook pot. The temperature is not critical as long as it is
not too hot. The purpose of using warm lye water is to help maintain a warm soap mixing temperature inside the soap mixing pot.
Kitchen Coffee Soap
(Good kitchen hand cleaner - especially for onion and garlic smells)
18 oz Olive Oil
6 oz Palm Oil
8 oz Coconut Oil
2 tbsp Ground coffee (not instant)
2 tbsp Sweet Almond or Castor oil
12 oz Cold coffee
4.8 oz Lye
Make your lye with the cold coffee instead of using water.
Crisco Soap Recipe:
(This is a large batch recipe and you will end up with about 36+ regular sized bars of soap)
3 cups water
17 oz lye
2 lbs Coconut oil (solid)
2 lbs Crisco or shortening (solid) – do not use lard for this recipe
2 lbs Canola oil or olive oil
2 cups lemon juice (reduces Ph level to make a milder soap)
1/3 cup goat’s milk powder (skin conditioning)
2 oz stearic acid powder (makes a harder soap and good lather)
Optional Additives for cosmetic effects:
(add after you have “trace”)
2 oz tea tree oil (good for skin)
2 oz pure vitamin E oil (good for skin)
1 oz sweet almond oil (hardens soap and makes good lather)
Note: This soap will take on a pink colour at first, but will cure to an off-white colour. Also note, there's no need to add the lemon juice, goat's
milk powder, and stearic acid, (or the optional additives)... but they do all make for a very nice, skin conditioning soap with a rich, creamy
Tips and tricks for those working on a shoestring budget:
- An old plastic container makes a great soap mold.
- Grab some scrap pieces of wood, a few nails, and make your own mold.
- Use a clean Pringles can as a soap mold. You just pour your soap in, top it with the lid and wrap in a towel sitting upright. The next day, just
peel away the Pringles can and cut your 1/2" round soap bars.
- Line your molds with a plastic grocery bag or two (we've all got a million of them laying around). Lining your soap molds makes it easier to remove
the soap once it's hardened enough to cut.
- Used, cleaned plastic ice cream pails, kitty litter pails, etc make great large mixing containers.
- No need for a thermometer: Add your solid fats right into your hot lye water - the hot lye will naturally melt down your solids as you stir, and
the solids will naturally cool down the lye. It's how our grandparents did it !
- No need for a digital scale: Just find basic old-fashioned recipes that are easily measurable (like the first basic two recipes I gave above).
Again, it's how our grandparents did it before all this fancy gadgetry came along !
- No need for a stick blender: A simple large wooden or plastic spoon will do the job just fine. Using a whisk is even better than a spoon. And no
need to stir your arm off either, just take your time, enjoy the process... it'll eventually get to the trace stage either way.
- Start with a very basic recipe (lye/water, and some kind of fat) and then look around your kitchen to see what other goodies you can add to it.
It's all about experimentation with whatever you think might smell/look good.
- Note for anyone using fresh fruit, veggies, milk, etc: Fresh foods will reduce the shelf life of your soaps, they will eventually go rancid
(anywhere from 6 months to 1 year), you can tell by the smell. So keep that in mind depending on the size of batch you're making.
- Use old kitchenware for your soap making and keep it designated for just that. Secondhand shops and garage sales are perfect for super cheap junky
- Youtube is your friend for great how-to videos, tips, tricks, do's and don'ts... all free.
One of my favourite soap making videos and where I got the Crisco soap recipe from a couple of years ago:
Happy soap making !
edit on 29-10-2013 by CranialSponge because: (no reason given)
It is imperative you use hardwoods, because the potassium hydroxide you get from the soft woods like pine will only produce soft soap.
- A water-tight bucket – a 5 gallon plastic bucket would suffice OR a large clay flower pot with a hole in the bottom
- Sand or fine gravel – regular washed gardening gravel will work
- Straw or brown pine needles
- White hardwood ashes (burn the hardwood in a really hot fire to produce white ash)
- Soft water – collected rainwater is the best, it has no chemicals or dissolved minerals in it – you can use distilled water if you like.
- A non-reactive plastic catch basin
- Rubber gloves and eye protection
- A non-reactive storage container (plastic) for your lye water (I use a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, commonly available at your local hardware
Note: Do not use tin or aluminum anything, these metals will react to the lye.
Drill small holes in the bottom center of the bucket – approximately 10-15 holes, in a pattern no bigger than the opening of your catch basin.
OR use your large flower pot with the one big hole in the middle.
Put a 1/2″ – 1″ deep layer of gravel in the bottom of the bucket. layer approximately 2″ of straw on top of the gravel. This is your
filter media. It keeps the ash in and lets the lye water seep out.
Fill the bucket to within 2″ of the top with white ash, it is important to not overfill the bucket, because the ash will float out when you
start adding water. Pack it down gently, not too tight or the water will take forever to seep through, too loose and the water will not draw enough
lye from the ash.
Take your catch basin and fill it to within 1-2″ of the top with distilled or rain water. Slowly pour this into the ash, taking care to not
overfill, again the ash will float out and it is a nasty mess to clean. Pour in stages if you have to. If you have packed the ash in your bucket
correctly, the water takes a long time to seep through, so you have time to slip your catch basin underneath.
Set your ash bucket on the two cinder blocks or big rocks (being careful not to block the weep holes) and slide your catch basin underneath. It
takes a long time for all of the water to seep out so you can leave this for the day, come back tomorrow. Make sure no children or animals will get
near the buckets as this is EXTREMELY CORROSIVE and HARMFUL. It will BURN unprotected skin. IF you get lye water on your skin – spray the affected
area with ammonia or vinegar, the ammonia neutralizes the lye and stops the chemical from burning you.
Take your collected brown lye water and pour over the ashes again. Allow this to seep through a second time. When the brown lye water stops coming
out, test it for strength.
To test your lye water for strength you can float a fresh (in the shell) egg or potato in it (wearing gloves and eye protection). If the egg or potato
float about 1/2 way into the water – it is the right strength for making soap – remove the egg or potato and destroy them. Also, you can drop a
chicken feather in, if the feather begins to dissolve, you have the right strength for making a basic soap.
Also a good way to know if you've got a decent strength of lye water: It should be roughly the colour of a bourbon liquor.
Concentrated Brown Lye Water:
Concentrated Lye will reduce the time it takes when you're making soap to get it to the "trace" stage. With just regular brown lye water (as above),
you're looking at stirring for at least 2-3 hours to make your soap !
Put the lye water into a non-reactive vessel (an old iron pot or stainless steel pot). NOTE: once you put lye water in the pot you can never, ever
use the pot for anything else. There is no way to guarantee that all of the lye is washed out and lye is POISONOUS.
Boil the lye water down until it has lost about a third (1/3) of it’s volume. Let cool and test the strength again. Allow to cool and pour carefully
back into the collection basin, and lid for storage. MARK IT CLEARLY – LYE WATER – POISON – CAUSTIC.
It's preferrable to use concentrated brown lye water for soap making, but you're going to have to make a lot of it for large soap batches.
Most really old soap making recipes recommend putting the brown lye water and grease into a big pot and cooking it over a big fire for several hours
and stirring it while it cooked. The reason for the big fire was because they were using original strength brown lye water that contained too much
water to make soap. Therefore they had to boil the water off and this frequently resulted in a failed batch of soap, or a batch of soap that was
gritty, lye heavy, and of very poor quality.
However, the concentrated brown lye water has already been boiled down to the correct ratio of water to grease using the recipe above. If a person
uses the regular brown lye water, then he or she will probably invest a lot of time and energy in a multitude of unsuccessful attempts to make soap,
and repeat the very same mistakes our ancestors did in the 1800's before the invention and sale of commercial lye crystals.
edit on 29-10-2013
by CranialSponge because: (no reason given)
2 cups catnip (preferably fresh on the stems)
3 – 4 cups mild rice vinegar
- Rinse herbs in a strainer with water and put in a quart jar.
- Cover with vinegar, seal jar and place in a dark cupboard for 2 weeks.
- Shake jar lightly every day for those 2 weeks.
- Strain into a clean jar, then pour into a spritz bottle, and refrigerate.
This needs to be kept refrigerated and it will keep up to 6 months.
To Use: Spritz directly on your skin like a normal mosquito repellent, can also be spritzed around patio furniture, etc.
You’ll be amazed how much better this stuff works, and it's far safer than deet IMO. If catnip is safe for cats, then it's safe for us as far as
And no, all the kitties in the neighbourhood won't suddenly become your best pals... the curing in the vinegar kills the kitty attraction.
I swear by this stuff !
Catnip Repels Mosquitoes More Effectively Than DEET
Aug. 28, 2001 — CHICAGO
Researchers report that nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip that gives the plant its characteristic odor, is about ten times more effective at
repelling mosquitoes than DEET — the compound used in most commercial insect repellents.
Peterson says nepetalactone is about 10 times more effective than DEET because it takes about one-tenth as much nepetalactone as DEET to have the same
effect. Most commercial insect repellents contain about 5 percent to 25 percent DEET. Presumably, much less catnip oil would be needed in a
formulation to have the same level of repellency as a DEET-based repellent.
You can't sell homemade soaps in the UK without registering and licensing each product with the govt. Costs about £400 for each recipe (say per type
of soap). NOT worth the hassle if you get caught selling without.
I have a friend who is Ex SAS and he has said that the best insect repellent for the world over is Australian Lemon Eucalyptus oil with a bit of Tea
Tree. He said it works on the mosquito's in the jungles to the midges in Scotland...
We are currently sourcing some lemon eucalyptus oil and will give it a try...! Might try yours too
edit on 30-10-2013 by fluff007 because: (no reason given)
I know you are busy Des, Just stopping in to go over the great info posted here. I remembered seeing something in this thread and came back for a
Off to make some deodorant now.
Wow...had forgotten about this thread. Thanks for the bump Doodle!
So many have contributed so much useful and valuable information. Since starting this thread, I've branched out in the things I like to make. It's
fun, hard work, and sometimes brings in a pretty penny.
I can't remember if I posted it in this thread or not...but...with winter and cold weather upon us. Some of us in rural areas, now have our winter
house guests in the form of field mice attempting to crash our homes for the warmth, and food access they don't have outside right now.
Besides our indoor ninja kitties to wage the battle against them....we also have a natural deterrent in the form of peppermint EO (essential oil).
They avoid any areas that have been treated with it. A Q-tip dipped in it, and run around the inside edges of drawers and closets...any spaces they
like, sends them running the other way. Plus it smells wonderful.
I bet a lot of you are now making hand made gifts for the holidays....trending is showing that people are really into giving hand made this season,
and people have a much deeper appreciation of hand made gifts. I think this flat economy has made a lot of people look for alternative ideas in gift
giving. So, get out those beads, soy wax, whatever you like to get creative with...and give from your heart and creative mind...instead of your
checkbook or credit card.
Let's keep the ideas going!
edit on 31-10-2013 by Destinyone because: (no reason given)
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